BETHEL – A three run inning proved to be the difference Monday as No. 2 in District 4A-4 Bethel lost at home to No. 1 Newcastle, 3-0.
“We got outpitched, our pitcher did a good job but it seems like in every tough game we always give up one inning, and that was exactly the case today,” coach Chad Smith said.
The Lady Racers ended the shutout with an RBI double in the top of the third and kept at it for a two-run double later in the inning.
Bethel pitcher Jordyn Zachary gave up four hits in the contest and struck out seven batters. She walked three.
The Lady Wildcats remained hitless until the bottom of the fifth, when Mya Green slapped a single out to center field. She advanced to second after Zachary was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a bunt by Lilla Wade to set up a two-inning trend of Bethel getting into scoring position but being unable to capitalize.
Rian Gamble led off the bottom of the sixth with a double down the third-base-line but never made her way home.
Bethel couldn't get a hang of the rise ball that Makenzie Wagoner was throwing and struck out 15 times. The pitch is one that Smith has been working with his girls to get the hang of since they haven't seen it a lot but know teams will be using it when they get into the playoffs.
“Once you get used to a ball coming down from the waist, it's just so extremely difficult to realize that that ball is not going to continue to go down, it's going to continue to go up,” he said. “So the balls that literally start at waist height are finishing at shoulder high and those are exactly the ones that we've got the biggest challenge with.”
The loss gives Newcastle the edge in the district with an 8-1 record but is not a lock for the district title yet.
Bethel, 19-11 (7-2), will travel to last place in 4A-4 Bishop McGuinness, 1-14 (0-8), today at 5.